Alpha Heroes--Annoying, Frustrating, but oh so Loveable...

Good Monday morning! I’m starting the week off on a high note with my blog swapping guest, Bronwen Evans. Bron is sharing her take on what makes for a great hero here and I’m on her blog–way down in New Zealand!–talking about what makes me want to slip on a heroine’s shoes. There are giveaways both here and there so I hope you’ll pop over to see me too! And now, here’s Bronwen…

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Waving from New Zealand. Mia, thank you for having me to guest blog today. Mia’s over on my blog talking about heroines. Check out her post and be into win two of her ARC copies.

Marcus GilbertI love a good hero. Doesn’t everybody? In a movie, on TV, or in a book, every story is the better for having a hero. A romance novel has to have a hero. He should be a man readers fall in love with, and imagine spending their lives with. They should envy the heroine!

I personally love to read stories about alpha heroes. I write Regency historical romances and most heroes in Regency romance (historical in general) tend to be alpha, not all, but most peers of the realm where arrogant, demanding and above all else leaders. Those traits tend to make you more alpha. Plus, woman had virtually no rights, so men tended to be over-protective.

Colin FirthI love to write alpha heroes too! Alpha males are bossy, pushy, trying to be in charge of everything. They frequently annoy the heroine for their ‘take charge’ attitude, thinking she needs his help and protection, when she’s quite capable of managing on her own. That’s what makes most of the stories so tension filled.

An alpha is NOT, what we in New Zealand would call, a dickhead or a wxxker. He cannot be a man who is cruel or demeaning to women. Alphas might be pushy but they use their energy to protect the heroine and those they love, like family. He knows when to graciously admit defeat, and he owns up to his mistakes (with a bit of prodding) and he is not opposed to a bit of groveling when necessary. In other words he’s very human.

Kate & LeopoldAn alpha might be hard as nails and arrogant, but when it comes to his heroine, he’s marshmallow inside. THAT is what appeals to me about my latest alpha male, in my May 2012 release, INVITATION TO SCANDAL. Rufus Knight, Viscount Strathmore is a definite alpha (don’t let the name fool you). Rufus is trying to atone for the sins of his father. His late father was accused of treason and now Rufus works for the Foreign Office catching spies. He’s battle weary, untrusting and deep down inside very lonely, handsome rake. He sees woman as ‘disposable pleasures rather than meaningful pursuits’.

Here’s a taste of how my heroine, Rheda Kerrich, feels about her alpha hero, Viscount Strathmore. She finds him impossible to resist…

Excerpt:

Invitation to ScandalHe was so beautiful. His chest and stomach glowed golden in the sun. Her hand rose to touch the sparse auburn hair sprinkling his chest. Only when he was silent did she notice the jagged scar that sliced down his left side, destroying the perfection. She couldn’t imagine any woman wanting to mar such beauty. She had to curl her toes up tight to stop herself stepping forward and planting kisses on the scar’s jagged length.

“Who was she?” Rheda asked in a quiet voice.

The pain drained from his eyes. He quickly lowered his shirt. “She is of no consequence.”

“That’s not true. She hurt you.” She tentatively touched his chest. “Why?”

“Why?”

“Why did she knife you?”

He looked away, his mouth set in a firm line. “Because I was a fool.”

“You’re a fool if you judge all women by one bad experience.”

He tugged at his cuffs. “Says the woman who judges all men by her father’s standards of honor.”

She turned away before he could see the pain in her eyes. “You did not know my father.” Then she swung back to face him. “If you had, you’d probably have liked him. He, too, loved bedding as many women as he could, while never engaging any other emotion than lust.”

Rufus’s lip curled up in disgust. “Lust is an emotion men cannot hide. A woman can see and feel a man’s lust. On the other hand, women can fake lust as easily as they can fake every other emotion. That is what makes women so dangerous.”

Rheda watched the play of emotions roaming his features. She saw hurt, pain, and something that looked a lot like guilt. “The woman who knifed you—you loved her.” It wasn’t a question. “You surprise me, Rufus. I never would have imagined a man like you being capable of love. Interesting . . .”

He narrowed his gaze. “I never make the same mistake twice,” he warned. “Don’t play games with me, Rheda. You won’t like the outcome.”

She moved until her hand pressed against his side where he had been wounded. “Only yesterday you were expertly demonstrating how pleasurable games could be. Why the sudden change of heart?” Her hand crept up his chest until she could feel a beat under her palm. She looked into his warm brown eyes and saw her answer. Her heart suddenly seemed to swell and try to own her chest cavity. Did he have feelings for her? Was that why Rufus was determined that she believe he was not sleeping with Lady Umbridge? She could neither help nor hide her victorious smile. “Perhaps with me more than simply your lust is engaged.”

She could feel the rapid rise and fall of his chest under her hand. His breathing increased, and his pulse raced. She licked her lips and stood on tiptoes to place a gentle kiss upon his sensuous mouth. He groaned and pulled her hard against him. Just as he’d stated, Rufus could not hide his lust for her. But was he hiding other feelings? She longed to find out.

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Thinking of the books you’ve read recently, who are some of your favorite alpha heroes and why? I’m offering two prizes, for two commenter’s. A copy of my debut Regency romance, Invitation to Ruin and a copy of my Regency romance released last month, Invitation to Scandal.

Bronwen Evans Blog TourAnd don’t forget about my blog tour. It’s not to late to collect the clues, just follow the blog trail from my website homepage. The contest closes 30 June 2012.

The Book Tour Grand Prize – A $200 Amazon, or B&N, Voucher PLUS… A Book Basket of 30 ‘SIGNED by the AUTHORS’ books…

About Bron:

New Zealander Bronwen Evans grew up loving books. She’s always indulged her love for story-telling, and is constantly gobbling up movies, books and theatre. Her head is filled with characters and stories, particularly lovers in angst. Being able to write her characters stories is never work, it’s a dream come true. Is it any wonder she’s a proud romance writer.

She writes both historical and contemporary sexy romances for the modern woman who likes intelligent, spirited heroines, and sexy alpha heroes. She’s placed in several romance writing competitions and is a member of several writing organizations, including RWA, RWNZ, and The Beau Monde. Her 2011 debut novel, INVITATION TO RUIN, received a 4.5 star rating from RT Book Reviews and was nominated in the RT Reviewers’ Choice awards – Best First Historical.

When not ensconced in her study writing her characters thrilling journeys to their happy ever after, Bron can be found on the golf course.

Readers can contact Bronwen via email at romance@bronwenevans.com For more information on all of Bronwen’s books, including updates on novels yet to come, visit Bronwen’s website at www.bronwenevans.com.

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Thanks for dropping by, Bron and thanks for sharing your terrific blog tour with us. Sounds like anyone who decides to follow you through cyber-space is in for a real treat and some great romance blogs! Not to mention your spectacular Grand Prize.

Now, my dears, it’s time for you to leave a comment or question for Bron to be entered in today’s giveaway–2 chances to win! And don’t forget to pop over to Bronwen’s Blog and leave a comment for me there for a chance to win an ARC of either my Lord of Fire and Ice (July 3, 2012) or Touch of a Scoundrel (July 31, 2012)!

40 thoughts on “Alpha Heroes–Annoying, Frustrating, but oh so Loveable…

  1. Mary Preston says:

    I have just re-read Jane Eyre. I’ll take Mr Rochester thank you.

    1. Mia says:

      Even though he locked his mad wife in the attic? I remember reading Jane Eyre as a kid and thinking that was a little creepy, but during that time period I suppose it was more charitable than committing her to Bedlam.

  2. librarypat says:

    The last trilogy I finished was The MacKinnon’s Rangers Trilogy by Pamela Clare. Three honorable men caught in a war and forced into fighting for the English. Interesting series both for the romance and the history. It takes place in the area where I grew up. It was nice knowing just where they were and a bit about the history of the area.

  3. I love my alpha’s scarred both inside and out. Rufus looks just like my cup of, well not exactly tea. Maybe a dark rich hot chocolate with a marshmallow floating around, melting of course.

    1. What a fabulous description of Rufus! He is yummy.

  4. Carol L says:

    My all time favorite is Jamie Fraser followed by Roarke from the In Death series. And the 3 brothers from Pamela Clare’s Mackinnon’s Ranger series. Surrender, Untamed and coming very soon, Defiant.
    I read Invitation To Scandal and LOVED Rufus and Rheda together.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

    1. Thanks Carol. Jamie Fraser – ohhh yes.

  5. Cathy P says:

    I like the alpha hero from Shirlee Busbee’s RAPTURE BECOMES HER. His name was Barnaby, the new Viscount Joslyn.

    1. Shirlee Busbee’s RAPTURE BECOMES HER – great book and yes delicious hero.

  6. Joy G says:

    I LOVE…the Alpha Males, and loved the pics on the interview!

    1. Aren’t the pics perfect for Regency romances! Hugh Jackman has to be there as he’s my main man!

  7. I must be the only person who hasn’t read any JR Ward, but at least I know what BDB stands for! Black Dagger Brotherhood.

  8. bn100 says:

    Great excerpt. I like Zsadist from BDB because he’s caring and protective.

  9. Jeanne Miro says:

    Hi Mia and Bronwen –

    Oh I do so love Alpha males in fact I not only married one but raised two son who dutifully followed in their father’s footsteps! They are bossy, pushy and to a one try to always be in charge!

    Ha! Good luck! No way were they going to get a way with that! You’d better believe I warned by daughter-in-laws of that tendency before they married my little darlings! They asked me how I managed to do that with my husband and my wise wisdom told them to just follow in my footsteps and to let them rave and rant and then do exactly what you planned on doing anyway!

    Yup, the best way to manage a Alpha male is to simply nod at everything he says and then do exactly what you were planning on doing anyway!

    Bronwen –

    Like I said before I just knew that Rufus was going to be a favorite of mine. He’d fit perfectly into my family!

    1. Thanks Jeanne. I come from a family of 5 girls – no brothers – so I don’t really have any experience with bossy men. Bossy and emotional females, absoultely.

      1. Jeanne Miro says:

        Bronwen –

        I came from a family of all daughters but I guess my Dad decided he still needed a fishing partner amd somce both my sisters were quite a bit older he used to take me with him fishing. He fished – I rowed the boat!

        Having an all male household was the “wake up” moment of my life when I had to learn to love all sports, beer not wine and lots and lots of noise as well as jumping on the soda, etc. To get my revenge I taught them all (including my husband) how to cook, do laundry, to wash the floors and even how to sew on buttons.

        Have I mentioned my daughter-in-laws love me?

  10. Bronwen, I haven’t gotten your book yet, but you can bet I’ll look for it immediately. Best wishes for all your ‘nexts.’

    Some of my favorite alpha heros can be found in Joanna Bourne historicals. She has a definite way with her secret service men.

    1. I do like dark heroes and I love Joanna Bourne, but I always find her stories sad – such a waste of their lives and time to be together. Life is too short. I don’t particularily find her character’s stories uplifting, even at the end.

  11. Debi Anne says:

    Love the Regency period and a brooding alpha male. The story sounds wonderful :)

    1. Thanks Debi, your very kind. I hope readers enjoy Invitation to Scandal as much as I loved writing it.

  12. Jane says:

    Congrats on the new release, Bronwen. I do love alpha heroes and Pamela Clare has created some of my favorites like Zach McBride. I like their take charge attitude, but also show a sensitive side.

    1. I love it when an alpha male shows that soft internal side. He tries so hard to fight it, but we know it’s a losing battle.

  13. Barbara Britton says:

    Hi Bronwen and Mia,

    I like alpha heroes that have a hidden soft spot.
    I recently finished “Short Straw Bride” and Travis Archer is very alpha but with a weakeness where Meri’s concerned.
    Loved the excerpt from above.

    1. Hi Barbara

      Thanks for the kind comments. I think Rufus is like that. I love the tough exterior and the soft, melting heart insde.

  14. Diane P. Diamond says:

    I loved the Cameron men in Jennifer Ashley’s series, especially the Duke.

  15. Melody May says:

    I really love alpha males. They tend to obnoxious and self-assure of themselves. They don’t give a crap people think of them. Absolutely fabulous.

    1. Yes, Melody. So isn’t it really scrummy when they fall in love and are brought down to earth with a crash.

  16. Good morning, from NZ. It’s just gone 7am here on Tuesday. I really love all the MacKenzies in Jennifer Ashley’s books.

  17. Shana Galen says:

    Love those pictures! Julie Garwood always has fabulous alpha heroes.

    1. Hi Shana

      Thanks for stopping by. Where have I been of late? I must be too busy writing as I haven’t heard of Julie Garwood either!

  18. Na S. says:

    Many of my favorite heroes happen to be alphas. I do agree that I like when they channel all that power towards protecting their love ones. When that protective instincts come out it can be exciting and bring a heroine out of her shell. Black Ice by Anne Stuart features an alpha male. He was dark and very protective.

    Cambonified(at)yahoo(dot)com

    1. Anne Stuart really knows how to write an alpha hero. She’s fabulous.

  19. lori meehan says:

    I to loved Men of Honor series by Lori Foster. Some others are Lora Leigh’s Breed series, Jennifer Ashley’s MacKinnon’s Rangers and Donna Grant’s Dark Sword and Dark Warriors series.
    Lorimeehan1@aol.com

    1. All great picks. I love anything by Jennifer Ashley.

  20. May says:

    What a great pic of Colin Firth… Love him in Pride and Prejudice!

    1. Colin certainly is gorgeous, especially dressed as a Lord in the 1800’s.

  21. Sheila Mulholland says:

    All of Janet Chapman’s men…all very alpha. Love tham.

    1. Sigh – Shelia. Another name I don’t know. Off to check her out too. This is a great way to find new authors to read.

  22. Ebony Morton says:

    hi !! the men of honnor series by lori foster. Great strong men , and women. I enjoy those kind of men. :)

    1. Hi Ebony

      I haven’t read any Lori Foster. I shall have to add to my huge TBR pile. What genre does she write in?

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